Practice Policy on Document Retention
Following good Information Governance procedures, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018, the Practice seeks to ensure that personal data is not kept for longer than necessary for the purpose for which it was processed.
How long is data kept?
Different types of data are kept for different periods depending on what they were originally used for. The table below defines at what point the data is reviewed before a decision is taken on whether to continue storing or to shred the information. The Surgery use the the NHS Code of Practice Part 2 Second Edition as its guidance and follows this.
|Record||Retention Period (Years)||Comments||Action at end of retention period|
|Accident reports||10||Where litigation has been commenced, keep as advised by legal representatives||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Accounts – Annual (Final – one set only)||Permanent||CQC required period is 30 years|
|Accounts Minor records (passbooks; paying-in slips; cheque counterfoils; cancelled/discharged cheques; accounts of petty cash expenditure; travelling and subsistence accounts; minor vouchers; duplicate receipt books and income records||7||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Bills, receipts and cleared cheques||7||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Job applications and interview records of unsuccessful candidates||1||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Buildings and engineering works, inclusive of major projects abandoned or deferred – town and country planning matters and all formal contract documents (e.g. Executed agreements, conditions of contract, specifications, “as built” record drawings and documents on the appointment and conditions of engagement of private buildings and engineering consultants.||The general principle to be followed in regard to these records is that they should be preserved for the life of the buildings and installations to which they refer.|
|Building records (mortgage transfers, disposal etc)||Permanent|
|Building and Premises – general maintenance records||3|
|Cash books||7||The Limitation Act, 1980||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Clinical Audit Records||5||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Clinical System patient records||Permanent||Codes of Practice for handling information in health and care||Codes of Practice for handling information in health and care|
|Clinical Protocols||25||Review and consider transfer to a place of deposit|
|Complaints||10||Where litigations has been commenced, keep as advised by legal representatives. Review and if no longer needed, destroy after 10 years|
|Contracts||6||The Limitations Act, 1980||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Death Certificates and death Records||2|
|Diaries (office)||1||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Employment Records – see Personnel files and Payroll records below|
|Equipment maintenance records||3||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Electrical Testing records||3||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Fire Safety Records||5||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Freedom if Information Act requests||3||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Fridge Temperature Records||1||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Funding Data||7||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|GMS 1 forms||3||As of 17th March 2016, should be stored for 3 years and then shredded. They are scanned onto the patients record.|
|Job advertisements||1||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Job applications and descriptions and descriptions (following termination of employment)||3||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Medical gas storage, transport and safety||3||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Medical Records in Lloyd George Folders|
|Minutes of Meetings||1||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Our of Hours Records||3||Where these are held as part of the clinical system, the longer period of retention relating to clinical system record applies|
|Paper Patient Records||20||20 years after last recording. 10 years after death. For patients treated under the Mental Health Act retain for 30 years after the last recording.||Return to PCSE for safe storage/destruction under their protocols|
|Patient Surveys||2||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Payroll / PAYE records||10||For superannuation purposes authorities may wish to retain such records until the subject reaches benefit age. Retain for 10 years after termination of employment|
|Personnel files (e.g. Personnel files, letters of appointment, contracts, references & related correspondence)||6||Keep for 6 years after subject of file leaves service, or until subject’s 70th birthday, whichever is the later. Only the summary needs to be kept to age 70; remainder of file can be destroyed 6 years after subject leaves service|
|Personnel records of disciplinary matters||Retain them in the file even after they become “inactive”. Once staff member leaves, terms above apply|
|PGDs||8||The same rules apply to PGD records as to all other patient records. For adults, all PGD documentation must be kept for 8 years, and for children until the child is 25 years old, or 8 years after a child’s death. In addition to patient records relating to PGD, local arrangements should be in place to retain the master copies of the PGD, lists of authorised practitioners and records of version numbers.|
|Policies, strategies and operating procedures including business plans||Life of organisation plus 6 years||Current version and all previous versions to be retained for the lifetime of the organisation plus 6 years||Review and consider transfer to Place of Deposit.|
|Purchase orders excluding medical devices and medical equipment||18 months||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
|Purchase orders – medical devices and medical equipment||11|
|RA Forms for Smartcards||6 years after an individual leaves the service or their 70th birthday||To comply with the Registration Authority Department requirement to keep RA forms for a minimum retention period of 6 years after an individual leaves service, at which time a summary of the file must be kept until the individual’s 70th birthday, or 6 years after the individual leaves the service whichever is the longer). Forms are no longer done as all applications are online|
|Risk Assessments||3||Retain 3 years and ensure that subsequent risk assessments are available|
|Rotas and staff duty rosters||4||4 complete years following the year to which they relate|
|Significant Event records||3||Including those to be notified to the CQC|
|Superannuation Forms (SD55)||10|
|VAT Records||6||Complete years following the end of a VAT period|
|Water Safety Records||5||Review and if no longer needed, destroy|
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